Romford exit FA Cup after K’s thriller

Romford manager Paul Martin's team came so close to beating Kingstonian (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Romford manager Paul Martin's team came so close to beating Kingstonian (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO) - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO

FA Cup 2QR: Kingstonian 5 Romford 3 A.E.T

Ryan Imbert and Eddie Hart netted for Romford at Kingstonian (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Ryan Imbert and Eddie Hart netted for Romford at Kingstonian (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO) - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO

Romford’s incredible run in the FA Cup ended in the second qualifying round as they were on the wrong side of a eight-goal thriller with Ryman Premier side Kingstonian after extra time at Kingsmeadow.

Boro took the lead three times in the match through skipper Jack Barry, Ryan Imbert and then substitute Eddie Hart in extra time.

But the team from the division above always found a response and Andre McCollin, who hit the woodwork twice in the first encounter, finally found the net in the 105th minute of the match to put Romford behind before they added another late on to send the Ryman North side out of the competition.

It was a heroic effort from the visitors, though, as they more than matched the K’s throughout the match and were so unlucky not to make it through to the next round.

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Paul Martin brought Tom Richardson into the starting team and the visitors were forced to defend a free kick inside the opening minute.

They survived and showed they were more than up to the task when they took the lead after just six minutes.

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Matt Toms fired a free kick into the box, Imbert tried to control but the ball bobbled away from him and perfectly to captain Barry who smashed into the bottom corner.

It was an excellent run from the skipper and sparked massive celebrations from the Romford players.

In an action packed opening ten minutes, McCollin gave a reminder of his pace by rounding Boro keeper Aaron Omand but Paul Preston and George Cocklin were able to clear his cross.

Romford came under more pressure four minutes later and had Jamie Dicks to thank for preserving their lead with a fantastic goalline clearance.

Richardson lost the ball in midfield, Elvis Hammonds raced down the left and his cut back found Josh Casey, whose deflected effort looped over Omand but fortunately for Martin’s men, Dicks was able to head clear for a corner.

Omand was forced into action from the resulting set piece, as the K’s Tommy Kavanagh linked up with Matt Drage but the latter’s shot was tipped wide.

Despite the home side’s pressure, Romford looked comfortable in possession and were more than matching the team from the division above.

Unfortunately in the 20th minute, the hosts equalised when Alex Addai crossed in from the right and Hammond escaped the attention of his marker and headed past Omand for 1-1.

Romford nearly hit back when Jamie Dicks let fly from outside the box but his effort flew wide before Preston blocked McCollin’s goalbound shot down the other end and Addai’s centre evaded everyone.

Kingstonian’s Drage and Boro’s Ryan Imbert both nearly grabbed a second for their side before the latter did fire Martin’s team into the lead.

Cocklin headed into Imbert’s chest and he burst past his marker before arrowing his shot away from Ben Dudzinski for his ninth goal of the campaign to give Boro the lead again.

Kingstonian had one final chance before half time but McCollin smashed his free kick over the stand and Ryman North team lead at the break.

The hosts enjoyed lots of possession at the start of the second period and Hammond came close after the interval but he scuffed wide.

K’s had been forced into an early substitution when Kavanagh went off and was replaced by Chris Henry, and his dribbling caused lots of problems for Boro.

And then in the 69th minute, almost out of nothing, the hosts found an equaliser through Drage.

The defender brought the ball forward and from 30-yards out, smashed a swerving effort into the bottom corner to make it 2-2.

Martin introduced Eddie Hart shortly afterwards and he sliced wide from a favourable position as the game entered the final 15 minutes of normal time.

Boro players made several last ditch blocks in the closing stages before Henry smashed over from inside the box and the other K’s substitute Nathaniel Pinney had the next big chance but Omand made a wonderful stop, low to his right, to keep it level with three minutes remaining.

Matt Toms, who had been colossal all evening, then came so close to from winning Romford the game when he tried an audacious lob from just inside the K’s half but his effort smashed off the crossbar and Martin’s team had to contest extra time..

Just four minutes into extra time and Romford took the lead for a third time in the match as Seymour’s corner kick was brilliantly headed home by Hart to reward the away sides incredible commitment during the 90 minutes.

Just five minutes later and Kingstonian again responded as Pinney headed back across Omand and in following a centre from the right.

And the scorer of the third then turned provider for K’s fourth in the final minute of the first half of extra time.

Pinney cut inside, and his inswinging cross was flicked in by McCollin to put Romford behind for the first time in the match.

Martin’s team tried to find a response but were caught out one more time when Addai slotted past Omand to finally confirm Kingstonian’s progression to the next round, but only after a wonderful fight from Romford.

Kingstonian: Dudzinski, Drage, Casey, Kavanagh (Henry 51), Page (Pinney 68), Inns, Berry, Pico Gomez (Blake 100), Hammond, McCollin, Addai.

Unused substitutes: Blake, Gondwe, Lovett, Robson.

Romford: Omand, Ottley, Preston (Cooper 110), Toms, Dicks, Clayton, Barry, Seymour, Imbert, Richardson (Hart 72), Cocklin (Tranter 79).

Unused substitutes: Truman, Ishmail, Norris, Boateng.

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